DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 14. Mars Atmosphere II
Poster, Highlighted on, Wednesday, September 3, 2003, 3:00-5:30pm, Sierra Ballroom I-II

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[14.01] Diurnal Variations in the Dust Vertical Distribution in the Atmosphere of Mars

C.M. Anderson, J.P. Murphy, N.J. Chanover (New Mexico State University), C.P. McKay (NASA Ames Research Center)

Mars was observed in April and May 2003 at the Apache Point Observatory 3.5 m telescope with the Near-Infrared Imaging Spectrometer and Imager (GRIM II). We obtained H- and K'-band spectroscopic observations of Mars at 1.6 um and 2.0 um. Telluric and Flux standard star data were taken concurrently with our Mars observations. We will use the 1.6 um and 2.0 um CO2 absorption features to search for diurnal variations in the vertical dust distribution. The CO2 absorption band spectrum in the near-infrared (NIR) provides an indirect method for determining atmospheric dust properties. The flux measured from these absorption bands will be due to aerosol scattering, providing a method to determine atmospheric dust properties. In the absence of dust in the atmosphere of Mars, the CO2 features would be saturated. Since there is dust in the atmosphere and it completely scatters in the NIR, we are able to step through the absorption band and extract information regarding the vertical structure and abundance of the dust. Through radiative transfer modeling of Mars' atmosphere that we use to fit our observed flux, we present preliminary insights into the variations of the vertical extent of dust in Mars' atmosphere.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.